*Author's Note: The following characters are property of Nintendo and Rareware- Juno, Vela, Lupus, Floyd, Magnus, Midge, King Jeff, Barry, the Drones, the Tribals. The following characters are property of me and you must ask me for permission before you use them- Orion, Scorpio, Pegasus, the Stags, the Arachnabreds (those 8-legged horses).

I kind of go against the ending in these JFG stories: 1) Floyd's still alive. and 2) Barry isn't evil. I hope this didn't offend anyone.




ORION'S RETURN
By Sammie Spitz

It was a pretty routine day onboard the JFG patrol ship. Juno was at the view screen with Floyd, watching for any sign of Drone activity. For the time being, things seemed pretty quiet in the Tribal village.

The first image showed a group of Tribals, probably 8-year-olds, gathered in the center of the village. They were kicking and chasing a ball around. It was a very common occurrence for a visitor to walk in and come upon a scene like this.

The second image showed a father and son breaking in a green reindeer into bridle. Reindeer were the animals the Tribals used as mounts and came in a rainbow of colors. The father slid the bit into the animal's mouth and put the bridle on. It stood still until he let go of the reins. The reindeer then trotted around the pen.

The third image showed a Tribal mother fishing in a river with a net. She had two children with her. Her infant son was in a cradle board strapped to her back and was fast asleep. She also had a young daughter with her, who was playing in the water and trying to chase the fish toward the net. She then tried to grab one with her hands. But, when she got one, it wiggled in her paws and she dropped it.

Juno couldn't help but crack a smile. It was King Jeff's family. He and his older son were probably gathering some place.

" And speaking of family..." Juno thought to himself. He looked back at the co-pilot's seat and smiled. Vela was fast asleep. All the boredom had finally gotten to her.

Suddenly there was a loud bang at the door. Vela jumped awake and faced the door, ready to draw her pistol. Not only did she hear the banging noise, she also heard a familiar bark.

" It's just Lupus." She sighed in relief.
Lupus had left the bridge a while ago when he found that there wasn't anything exciting going on. He wandered into an open closet and found a familiar-smelling leather book. He picked it up in his mouth and went to bring it to his owners. When he got to the bridge, though, he found that he didn't have the height or opposable thumbs to open the door. He put the book aside and began barking at the door and ramming it with his head

" I better let him in before he breaks his skull open." Vela said. She opened the door just as lupus was getting a running start. He tried to stop but his metal-encased paws couldn't get good traction. He skidded across the floor and crashed into a nearby table.

" You OK, boy?" Juno asked as he went over to check on him. Lupus got up and shook his head, relieving the twins. Then, he ran out to where he left the book, picked it up and, brought it to Vela.

" What's that you have there, buddy?" She asked as she took the book from his mouth. She opened it, flipped through a few pages, and smiled.

It turned out to be an old photo album. It had pictures of their commrades from Jet Force. The more they went through the pictures the more they missed their old friends. Then, they came to a picture of a man in black and red armor standing next to a huge, black, cybernetic horse.

" Isn't that Orion?" Vela asked. Their friend, Orion, had been with them from the very beginning. He showed them the ropes and helped them every chance he got.

Just then, Juno thought of something. "Sis, Orion didn't fight in the war, right?"

"No, you remember," Vela replied, " He broke his arm riding and he and his horse and dog stayed behind."

"Well, if he wasn't fighting, don't you think he could still be alive?"

"Well...yeah, I see where you're going! He could still be OK! Then, what are we waiting for?! Let's go find him!"

"Maybe we should ask King Jeff for help first. He might know something."



" Yes, you have a good point. there is a good chance he is alive. Very good indeed." King Jeff resoned after the twins explained the matter at hand.

" So you'll help us?" Juno asked.

" Of course." King Jeff answered.

Barry was at the back of the hut when he heard the conversation. He went to them and said, " I can help!"

" Now, Barry," King Jeff told him," this could be very dangerous. I don't want you to get hurt."

" I can handle it!" Barry pleaded," Please let me come! I've been cooped up all afternoon! I'll be careful, I promise! Please, please, please!"

"Well," King Jeff answered," alright. But be careful."

" Oh, thank you, Jeff!" Barry ran up and hugged King Jeff.

" I guess, after all this time, you need a chance to streach your legs." King Jeff agreed.

As they left the village, a boy rode in on a white, cybernetic bull. Juno needed a minute, but he recognized him.

" Halley!" He cried out. Vela looked for herself and noticed who it was. The twins came from a reletivley large family which consisted of 5 children. Argo, at 23, Vesta, 21, them, 17, and finally Halley, at 14

" Huh?!" Halley uttered allowed at the sound of his name and a familiar voice. He looked in the sound's direction. He looked over and realized who had called him. He rode over, dismounted, and hugged them both.

" Juno! Vela! I barely recognized you! It's been so long!" He cried out," Hey, Lupus!" He knelt down and responded to the dog jumping at his feet. As Halley pet him, he licked his face.

"Halley got up and noticed Floyd. " Who's your buddy?" He asked.

"That's our friend, Floyd." Juno explained, " We met him during the war. Floyd, this is our little brother, Halley."

" Nice to meet you.' Halley greeted, extending his hand. Floyd extended a cable, wrapped it around the boy's hand, and shook it. Halley smiled a friendly smile to him. Floyd was relived to see how friendly he was.

" Oh, I almost forgot! I have something important to tell you!" Halley exclaimed It's the Stags! There's a whole handful near the village - and they don't look happy!"



Halley lead them to a clearing, where a bunch of young Stags on horseback, whooping and hollering.

The Stags were a deer-like race of horse-riding people. They were expert marksmen with bows and arrows. They could be peaceful, but young males tended t be hostile. Riots and other unpleasent events occured because of them.

" I can't stand these guys!" Vela muttered," They're nothing but trouble!"

" You're telling me!" Halley agreed," One time, I was out riding my bull, Taurus, and one rushed me and started shooted arrows!"

" I'm gonna put a stop to this right now!" Juno told them.

" Be careful." Barry whispered to him. As Juno approached the Stags, they all began surrounding him.

" What do you want, human?" one snapped at him.

" I want you to cut out the noise!" Juno answered, " We've been getting complaints!"

" We're having a little pow-wow!" another explained, " You can't have on without a little noise!"

" Well, go pow-wow someplace else!"

" What if we don't?!" The group began to close in on him.

" Look," Juno explained," you're really begining to get out of hand! You seem to bother or even threaten every living thing on Goldwood! For years, you've been nothing but a nusence! So, you better cut it out RIGHT NOW or else!" Vela was very surprised to see her brother act like this.

" And what if we don't?" His patience worn thin, Juno threw a lit flare at the horses feet, who threw their riders.

"I'm done fooling arouund! Now, are you gonna listen or are you gonna talk back again?"

One of the Stags grabbed Juno and threw him. Everyone else tried to help him, only to be surrounded by drawn bows and arrows. Suddenly, at the last minute, the shadowy figure of a horse and rider lunged from the bushes at the Stags. The mysterious rider's voice hollared as he chased the Stags down the path.

Juno took a few seconds to catch his breath and calm down. He looked around to see if everyone was OK. There didn't appear to be any injuries. Things remained silent as everyone tried to pull themselves together.

" What the heck was that?" Vela finally breathed out in shock.

" I don't have a clue." Juno answered," But I thought I recognized that rider's voice." Suddenly, he realized who it was.

" Guys, that was Orion!" He exclaimed, "I'd recognize that war cry anywhere!"

" But, we didn't see which way they went." Barry pointed out. Lupus began sniffing the trail the horse ran on.

" Apparently, Lupus, you don't understand the factors involved in finding something that way." Floyd said, " Do you realize how many animals can travel that path in one day? And the chances of pin-pointing the sent of one horse? At least a million to one!"

Lupus made a kind of grumbling noise.

" Yes, I'm done." Floyd had a very good translater that managed to pick up ' are you done yet?' in canine.

With Floyd's answer, Lupus let out a howl and tore down the trail, everyone chasing after him.

" Figures aren't everything, Floyd." King Jeff explained.



They followed Lupus to a clearing. Sure enough, someone was there. There was a house, a barn, and a corral. In the corral was Orion's horse, Pegasus.

Pegasus was a huge, cybernetic, black, Arabian horse. The left side of his face, his opposite ear, the front half of his body, his lower legs, and his hooves were incased in metal. His enhanced hooves enabled him to reach great speed. His mane was cut off so it wouldn't interfere with the reins or weapons. He had glass, crystal-like devices on his chest and between his eyes whiched produced lasers.

They were planning to surprise Orion. But, suddenly, Lupus sniffed the air and ran over to the house before anyone could stop him. He rushed to the window, peered in, and found what he was looking for. Inside the house, was Scorpio.

Scorpio was Lupus's little brother from a second litter. He was a couple years younger than Lupus. He was black with a white blaze and ears. With Scorpio was his owner, Orion, who was trying to cheer him up.

" Now, Scorpio, I know you miss him. We all miss him, but I..." Orion was cut off in mid-sentence when he heard a crying and tapping sound at the window. Lupus was tapping on the glass with his paw and whining to get someone's attention.

" What in the world?" Orion asked himself as he went to investigate the noise. He went to the window and got the shock of his life. Lupus sared back at him and continued tapping at the window.

" Scorpio, come here, boy! I have a surprise for you!" He called. Scorpio trotted over in curiosity. The second he saw Lupus, he was a complete other dog. He barked and jumped and wagged his tail. Orion opened the window and Lupus wasted no time jumping in. The two dogs began licking each other and jumping around excitedly. As they did, Orion thought of something.

' If Lupus is alive,' He thought,' the twins must be alive too! If they died, poor Lupus would kill himself!'

Orion rushed out and scanned the surrounding area. There was no visual sign of anyone, but he heard a rustling noise. he followed it to a bush that was, for some strange reson, whispering to itself. He parted the branches and was soon face to face with old and new friends. He got aquainted with everyone and welcomed them into the house.



" It's great to be seeing you guys again." Orion said with a smile," I was starting to think you got slaughtered with everyone else." As the conversation continued, Vela looked down at the dogs, who were sleeping together quietly. As she watched them, something caught her eye.

" Scorpio wasn't enhanced before, right?" She asked.

" It's a long story." Orion sighed.



" I can't belive it." Orion muttered as he stood to the corral," Everyone's gone and we can't do a blasted thing about it." He had just received the grave news about the fate of Jet Force and his teammates. Scorpio at beside him, depressed abut the loss of his brother. Pegasus stood in the corral, trying to think of a way to cheer everyone up.

" I swear, this is not going to go unevenged! I'm gonna hunt down each and every one of those Drones and I'll...!" He was cut of in mid- sentence when a bullet went flying by his head. He turned around and saw an entire troop of Drones. His arm was broken, he didn't have a gun, Pegasus was locked in the corral, and Scorpio was too depressed to fight. Orion was on his own and the odds were stacked against him. He found an axe in a tree trunk and began swinging it at the Drones. Thi proved to be a very formidable weapon.

As the fight wore on, his animals began to get antsy. Scorpio came out of his depression and was barking growling and snapping at the Drones. Pegasus kicked at the fence whenever a Drone came near and tried tried to kick the gate down.

A Drone finally got the upper hand over Orion. It knocked the axe out of his hands and knocked him to the ground. Just as it was about to shoot him right between the eyes, it let out a painful scream and dropped the gun. Scorpio had just peirced his needle sharp teeth into the drones leg and refused to let go.

It tried to hit the dog. It tried threatening, ignoring and screming till it's throat was sore, but nothing seemed to work.

" Stupid little mutt!" It Hollared," Bring out the secret weapon!" Another Drone brought out a strange gun that fired a peculiar yellow liquid. It turned out to be acid. Half of it hit the ground and the corral gate. But the other half hit Scorpio. Orion flew into a rage and fired at the Drones with their own gun, which caused them to retreat.

He rushed to Scorpio's side. He'd been badly burned by the acid. Orion got a bucket, Scooped some water into it, and threw it on the pup, to counter act the acid. He then wrapped him up in a blancket and got him to the vet by horseback.

Scorpio's head, legs, and tail were fine. But, his body, paws and parts of his ears had massive third degree burns. He ended up getting enhanced. He looked just like his brother, except instead of his whole legs being covered, only his paws were. He had all the gadgets his brother had and an extra pair of lasers on his sides.



" Brave little sprite," Juno commented," must've gotten it from hanging around Pegasus. We all know how he got enhanced as a colt."

" Yeah, Orion got knocked out in a buring factory and Pegasus carried him out.' Vela added," you're pretty lucky to have such loyal partners."

"Sure am." Orion replied.

" So, are you coming back?" Juno asked.

" Well, you remember how my whole team got wiped out, right?"

" Oh, right." Juno was rather disappointed.

Recognizing the sad look on his face, Orion pulled out his Cyber Blade and added, " But that doesn't mean I'm out of commission for good! I just need to get a new team together."

" Does that mean you're still with us?"

" Of course."

Great!" Suddenly, Juno heard a voice on the com-link in his helmet. Midge was trying to contact him.

" Guys, can you hear me?" He asked," Guys? Come on, guys, this is important!"

Juno held down the button next to the anntenne and replied, " Loud and clear, Midge. Fire away!"

" Ther's Drones all over fire canyon! I mean, one minute, it's quiet. The next, Drone central! And to make matters worse, Magnus went down there!"

" WHAT?!" Everyone shouted.

" You heard me! He went down there, and he hasn't been back since!"

" But why?!" Vela exclaimed," What possesed him to go down there?!"

" I don't know, but you need to get down there to make sure he's OK!"

Everyone, except Orion and Scorpio, rushed out the door. Before leaving, Juno managed to spurt out," Sorry to leave so quick, but it's an emargency! See you later!"

Orion watched them and whispered to himself," They're gonna need help."



" Woah! This is worse than I thought!" Vela said. They were at the canyon, and from their view at the top, it was a mess.

" Those are the strangest horses I've ever seen." Barry commented.

" What's so stramge about them?" King Jeff asked.

" Take a closer look at their legs." barry advised him," What do you notice about them?"

" Why, there's an extra set of them!" Sure enough, the twins had a closer look themselve and found that these weren't garden-variety horses. They had eight legs. Most of them were black with red hour glass markings on their backs and faces. But, there were other colors.

" Now, where's Magnus?" Juno asked, as he pulled out a pair of binoculars," There he is! Man, stuck in a cell. And it looks like he hurt his ankle."

" He can't be enjoying his visit." Floyd said.

Vela looked through the binoculars and added," The Drones aren't enjoying his visit either. The guards are shaking,...and it looks like they have bumps on their heads."

" This is serious." Juno said.

" Yeah, so," Halley asked," what do we do about this?"

" Well...," Juno said nervously," jeez, they never said anything about this! Not during training anyway."

" Looks like you need help." A voice said behind them. They turned around and saw Orion ride up, Scorpio trotting along side him, and Midge riding with him.



"Hostage situation, eh?" Orion asked.

" Yeah," Juno answered," Magnus is locked up down there. There are guards, too."

" I have an idea." He said. They all huddled. " Midge, you and King Jeff go down there to get Magnus. Floyd, you go down there and back them up. Barry, you back them up from up here. The rest off us will distract the Drones, so don't go until we get their attention."



Orion and the rest of the troop ran at the Drones and shot at some barrels, causing them to explode. The Drones that didn't get blown away ran out fighting. Even the guards left their posts.

" Let's go!" Floyd whispered. They went down the path carved in the cliff and went over to Magnus's cell.

" Magnus?" King Jeff asked," Are you alright, old friend?"

" I suppose." Magnus replied," I twisted my ankle on the rocks." King Jeff backed away from the cell, pointed his staff at it, and told Magnus to step back. A fireball came out of the staff and melted the door away. Magnus limped out, using his own staff to walk. King Jeff helped him walk to the path, as Floyd and Midge backed tham up.

Meanwhile, things were going pretty well on the battle field. But, suddenly, something went wrong.

Halley noticed a stranger on horseback riding towards them.

" Um, Juno?" He asked," Do any Stags live around here?"

" Stags? No, why?"

" Well, there's one riding up to us right now."

" I'll handle this." Vela replied," Hey! What do you think your doing?!"

" Fighting bugs!" The Stag answered.

" This is too dangerous for you!" She continued," You shouldn't be here!"

" Don't worry about me!" He shot some arrows at the Drones, which only got one or two.

A ninja drone was about to shoot the Stag, but Juno grabbed the Drone and threww it.

Unfortunetly, the Drone's horse was peticularly loyal. He went charging at the Stag's horse, who paniced, threw it's rider, and took off at full gallop. It wasn't long before it tripped on Juno and toppled onto him.

" Juno!" Vela shricked. The horse got up and ran off. The Stag caught it and rode away. But, Juno remained still.

She ran to his side and but her hand on his chest. She could tell he was breathing, since she could feel his chest move. She then took her glove off and felt for a pulse. Not only was it there, it was as strong as ever. She reilized that his armor may have been the reson his life was spared. She was so happy, she threw herself onto his chest and cried.

But their problems were far from over. The Drone's horse that started the problem walked over. He shoved Vela away, grabbed Juno by the shoulder, and pulled him aside. It then stared at Vela, ears back, head down, nostrils flared, and snorting.

Vela got up. She was about to run, until she thought about what this creature did to her brother. She pulled her pistol out, stared it right in the eye and told it to make it's move. This proved to be a bad idea. The horse reared in air and kicked Vela right in the chest. Vela log-rolled for a little distance, but, after this, didn't move or make a noise.

The horse walked over to inspect it's victim. It walked around her, to make sure she wasn't playing oppossum with it. It then nuged her with one of it's four front hooves, then it's nose and snorted.

It was about to rear into the air, to step on Vela and finish the job, when it was hit from the side by Pegasus and knocked off all eight hooves. Orion was about to stop the fight, but the horses were already kicking at each other. It was soon clear that he didn't need to help as the Drone horse and the rest of the Drones finally retreated.

Orion suddenly remembered that the twins had been hurt. Juno was begining to awaken. He looked at his sister and turned chalk white when he saw her lying lifelessly on the ground.

Juno tried to get up, but he'd been dazed by the blow he took. Orion went over to Vela and checked her vital signs. He was releived to find that she was OK. Juno managed to stumble over.

Although Orion told him that Vela was fine, he was still worried. He held onto her hand and waited anxiously for a response. After a few seconds, Vela began to squeeze his hand as she woke up. She looked up at him with half-opened eyes. Juno was so relived, he burst into tears and hugged her.

After taking Magnus to a medical center, everyone was finally able to go back to their lives and relax.

THE END